In a blog for the website Health Affairs, Dartmouth’s Elliott Fisher and Jonathan Skinner and Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s James Weinstein offer ways to address the problem of health care price variation in the U.S.
“We suggest a short-term solution: The federal Medicare program has in place a complete system of prices for every procedure and treatment,” they write. “It’s not perfect, but it is uniform across regions, with a cost-of-living adjustment that pays more in expensive cities and less in rural areas. If every patient and every insurance company always had the option of paying 125 percent of the Medicare price for any service, we would effectively cap the worst of the price spikes.”
Fisher is director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI) and a professor of community and family medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine. Skinner is the James O. Freedman Presidential Professor in Economics, a professor of community and family medicine at Geisel, and a professor at TDI. Weinstein is president and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Read the full opinion piece, published 8/26/14 byHealth Affairs.